All change at Loughborough funeral home as new life in Portugal awaits Funeral Director Neil

A newly-revamped funeral home in the heart of Loughborough is set to say goodbye to its popular Funeral Director as he begins a well-earned retirement in Portugal.

Neil Finn has been helping families say goodbye to their loved ones at Co-op Funeralcare for the past 17 years and has spent the last four as Funeral Director at Swanns Funeral Home, in Bridge Street, which recently reopened following a £125,000 investment.

However, a holiday to Ferreira do Zêzere, in Portugal, last year led to 57-year-old Neil and his wife of 34 years Karen having a ‘lightbulb moment’ and deciding to take the plunge of retiring to sunnier climbs.

Neil said he has ‘loved’ his time at Co-op Funeralcare and particularly the last four years at Swanns where he has thrown himself into supporting the local community, particularly Rainbows Hospice to which the funeral home has donated thousands of pounds during Neil’s time as Funeral Director.

He said: “I will really miss the job and particularly my colleagues. I worked hard to get to where I have and I’m proud of all I’ve achieved.

“Doing what we do for families and the feeling of helping people in their time of need is what I have always enjoyed about the role. It’s extremely rewarding and working with colleagues who are all working to the same purpose of supporting families.

“I’ve loved being involved with the community in Loughborough as well, supporting great local causes like Rainbows Hospice to which we have close ties. Being at Swanns you are right in the heart of Loughborough which is a great place to be.”

Neil, from Newbold Verdon, will now turn his hand to running a Bed and Breakfast in Portugal, although only for friends and family, and the long-time member of amateur dramatic group Verdon Players already has his first bookings.

He said: “We have my three grandchildren coming out this summer and the drama group have already decided they are coming out to stay so they will keep us busy!”

Neil finishes on July 19 and has been spending his final weeks showing the ropes to his replacement Andrew Waldron, who has spent the last 15 years at Coalville Funeral Home. He will now become Funeral Director at both Swanns and Pinfold Gate in Loughborough.

The 54-year-old said: “I will miss the people at Coalville and part of me is sad to leave but it is nice to have a new challenge and I’m really looking forward to coming to Loughborough. I’ve known Neil for a long time so it’s nice to work with him for a few weeks as part of the handover before he retires and settle in to the team.”

Swanns reopened in May following the revamp and recently held a dedication ceremony which saw a special blessing take place to mark the relaunch.

Swanns Funeral Home and Pinfold Street Funeral Home offer a 24-hour service, seven days a week. In addition to arranging funerals, the teams are also able to offer advice on floral tributes, monumental masonry, funeral stationery, pre-paid funeral plans and probate advice. The team at Swanns can be contacted on 01509 263032 and Pinfold Street on 01509 215331.


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 

It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, and property.

The company’s funeral business consists of over 120 funeral homes across 16 counties, nine florists, masonry production and administration, Bretby Crematorium and Terry Smiths coffin factory.

Central England Co-operative has more than 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

The Society has an ambitious food store and funeral home development programme for 2019.

Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing or visiting

For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, @mycooplife and on Facebook:

Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140

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